I have one of those family members who is really getting under my skin.
To start, she is extremely critical – she’s even been known to bring me to tears. From my cooking to my housekeeping to my appearance, she has something to say. “This place is a mess,” she says, but offers no help with mud she tracks in or spills crumbs all over my couch, where I’ve asked her not to eat anyway.
She has no problem telling me how she thinks I should change my appearance. “You’re gonna wear flip-flops?” she asks. She, of course, in matching skirt and blouse, is wearing trendy silver flats to go grocery shopping. Really?! Sometimes it’s not what I wear, it’s just me–“You look scary, does your back hurt again?”
When she has dinner with us, she’s rude. “I don’t like this chicken. Maybe I could have some crackers or something?” She’s even been known to just jump up, without comment, and barge into my pantry to grab herself something she thinks would be better. And this is all after zero help with the meal. She won’t do much with the cleanup, either – if I’m lucky she’ll bring a plate in or help me load a dish or two in the dishwasher. Rarely does she thank me even when she likes my food.
Lately, she’s been trying to involve herself in my parenting. “You need to feed that baby, that’s why he’s crying,” she tells me. “Okay, thank you, you who has no children of your own,” I think to myself, simmering inside. If she did, they’d weigh 400 pounds each because a bottle is her solution to everything.
As a busy mom, my day is pretty taken up by household chores and parenting. She has no respect for this. After wanting nothing to do with me (sometimes even after I’ve invited her to do five or six different things and her response each time was “No thank you, I don’t want to,”) all of a sudden, while I’m finally getting some cleaning done, feeding the baby, doing laundry or whatever, that’s when she wants me to have lunch with her, or see a movie, or go hiking, or pay a visit to my parents, or one of those other activities someone like her can do any time they want because they have no real responsibilities. When I can’t drop everything and join her, she throws a huge fit and takes it really personally.
Sometimes she’ll even tattletale on me – “I wanted to come see you,” she’ll tell my mom and then go on and on about how I couldn’t make time.
I’ve tried talking to her. She says she’ll try to do better but the same stuff keeps happening.
Experts say when dealing with someone like her its best to keep talking to her but not to take it personally; to “let it go.” Um, okay.
I would cut her off completely, but she’s really cute sometimes and there are actually laws against it. Those aforementioned experts also say that it’s pretty normal behavior for an almost three-year-old and that the behavior should pass with time. I hope they’re right–I’m about to pull my hair out and I’m not even interested in her opinion about that.